Marlon Sandro. Photo courtesy of World Victory Road.
The pairings for the one-night semifinal tournament that will crown Sengoku’s first-ever featherweight champion have reportedly been set for the organization’s “Ninth Battle” event on August 2 in Japan.
According to Tatame.com, undefeated Brazilian prospect Marlon Sandro has revealed that he will be facing upstart Japanese veteran Michihiro Omigawa in one semifinal bout, while tournament favorite Hatsu Hioki will go up against Masanori Kanehara in the other. The winners will end up fighting in the show’s main event.
Sandro has won all fourteen of his professional bouts to start his career. After scoring a second-round submission of Matt Jaggers in the opening round of the tourney, Sandro needed only 19 seconds to knock out previously undefeated Nick Denis earlier this month.
Omigawa meanwhile, has played the role of tournament spoiler thus far. Following a lackluster stint in the UFC, Omigawa has now knocked off highly touted featherweights L.C. Davis and Nam Phan in consecutive tourney bouts.
A longtime veteran of the ZST promotion, Kanehara has flown under the radar thus far in the brackets, winning a pair of one-sided unanimous decisions over Chan-Sung Jung and Jong-Man Kim. Hioki, the favorite to win the tournament from the start, has performed as such, earning first round submission wins over Chris Manuel and Ronnie Mann.
Sengoku lightweight champion Satoru Kitaoka will return to action at the event against an opponent yet to be announced. Also rumored to compete on the card is Blagoi Ivanov, who recently scored a win over longtime heavyweight king Fedor Emelianenko in Sambo competition.
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